- One of America’s two major political parties and the much more leftist party of the two
The Democratic Party is presently one of the two major political parties in the United States. On the right-left political spectrum, it currently is to the left of the larger Republican Party, and well to the left of the Democratic Party of Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy. The words “Democracy” and “Democratic” come from the Greek roots demos, “the people” and kratein, “to rule.”
The Democratic Party traces its ancestry to the original Republican Party (initially known as the “Democratic-Republican Party”) founded in 1794 by Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809). The Democratic Party started to assume its modern form during the War of 1812. By the 1820s John Adams’ son, President John Quincy Adams, had become a Democrat. He was opposed by Tennessee Democratic-Republican President Andrew Jackson (1829-37), whose anti-National Bank faction became the core of the Democratic Party. From the mid-1830s until the Civil War, Democrats formed America’s majority party. Meanwhile the Federalist Party disintegrated, replaced as America’s opposition party from 1833 until 1856 by the new party co-founded by Adams, the Whigs, dedicated to high tariffs and protectionism. Democratic President James Polk led the U.S. into and through the Mexican-American War that added today’s Southwestern states to America’s map.
In 1856 the new Republican Party mobilized around opposition to slavery and ran its first presidential candidate, California U.S. Senator John C. Fremont. Four years later, owing to a party schism that put two rival Democrats on the ballot, Republican Abraham Lincoln was elected President by a plurality and led the Union during the Civil War.
Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator and a former aide to Jack Kemp and Ronald Reagan, has chronicled the following vital facts about the Democratic Party of 1800 through the 1960s:
- Seven Democrat presidents owned slaves between 1800 and 1861.
- Between 1840 and 1860, there were six Democratic Party platforms supporting slavery.
- From 1868-1948, there were 20 Democratic Party platforms that either openly supported segregation or were silent on the subject.
- The infamously racist “Jim Crow laws” of the post-Civil War era — mandating segregation in virtually all public settings throughout the South — were passed enthusiastically by Democrats.
- In the post-Civil War era, the Democratic Party and the Ku Klux Klan had a very close relationship. Columbia University historian Eric Foner writes that the Klan became “a military force serving the interests of the Democratic Party.” And according to University of North Carolina historian Allen Trelease, the Klan served as the “terrorist arm of the Democratic Party.”
- Democrats opposed the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution. The 13th banned slavery. The 14th effectively overturned the 1857 Dred Scott decision (made by Democratic pro-slavery Supreme Court justices) by guaranteeing due process and equal protection to former slaves. And the 15th gave black Americans the right to vote.
- Democrats opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which was passed by a Republican Congress over the veto of President Andrew Johnson, who had been a Democrat before joining Abraham Lincoln’s Republican ticket in 1864. The law gave blacks with the right to own private property, sign contracts, file lawsuits, and serve as witnesses in a legal proceeding.
- Democrats opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which was passed by a Republican Congress and signed into law by Republican President Ulysses S. Grant. The law prohibited racial discrimination in public places and public accommodations.
- The Democratic Party’s 1904 platform used the term “Sectional and Racial Agitation” to condemn the Republican Party’s protests against segregation and against the denial of voting rights to blacks. This “agitation,” said the Democratic platform, sought to “revive the dead and hateful race and sectional animosities in any part of our common country,” which in turn would bring “confusion, distraction of business, and the reopening of wounds now happily healed.”
- Between 1908 and 1920, there were 4 Democratic platforms that were silent on the issues of blacks, segregation, lynching, and voting rights. By contrast, the Republican platforms of those years specifically addressed “Rights of the Negro” (1908), opposed lynching (in 1912, 1920, 1924, 1928), and (with the advent of the New Deal) the dangers of turning blacks into “wards of the state.”
- At the direction of Democratic President Woodrow Wilson in 1913, Democrats segregated the federal government.
- The Democratic Convention of 1924, held in New York’s Madison Square Garden, has been dubbed by historians as the “Klanbake.” Hundreds of the delegates present were members of the Ku Klux Klan, which was so powerful that a plank condemning Klan violence was unwaveringly rejected. To celebrate, some 10,000 hooded Klansmen staged a massive rally complete with burning crosses and calls for violence against blacks and Catholics.
- Democrats created the Federal Reserve Board, passed labor and child welfare laws, and created Social Security with Woodrow Wilson’s New Freedom and FDR’s New Deal. But these programs were created as the result of an agreement to ignore segregation and the lynching of blacks.
- Thousands of Democratic local officials, state legislators, state governors, U.S. congressmen, and U.S. senators were elected as supporters of slavery and then segregation between 1800 and 1965.
- In return for election support, three post-Civil War Democratic presidents — Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin Roosevelt — agreed to leave the issues of segregation and lynching unaddressed.
- Three-fourths of the opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Bill in the U.S. House of Representatives came from Democrats, as did four-fifths of the opposition in the Senate. That opposition included such figures as future Democratic Senate leader Robert Byrd of West Virginia (a former Klan member) and Tennessee Senator Albert Gore Sr., father of Al Gore.
- The Birmingham, Alabama Public Safety Commissioner Bull Connor — who infamously unleashed dogs and fire hoses on civil-rights protestors — was a member of both the Democratic National Committee and the Ku Klux Klan.
Republicans won most of the presidential elections between 1864 and 1912, when a schism between President William Howard Taft and former progressive Republican President Theodore Roosevelt split the Republican vote and led to the election and re-election of Democrat Woodrow Wilson. Republicans returned to power following World War I, but during the Great Depression, beginning in 1932, were beaten in four elections by Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), who built his New Deal coalition of liberals and Southern segregationists. In the “solid South,” Democrats for generations grew up in one-party states whose voters would “rather vote for a yellow dog” than any candidate of the party of Lincoln.
Grover Cleveland, who served two terms as U.S. President in the late 1800s, said that freeing the slaves had no more purged black people “of their racial and slave-bred imperfections and deficiencies than it changed the color of their skin. I believe that among the nearly nine millions of negroes who have been intermixed with our citizenship there is still a grievous amount of ignorance, a sad amount of viciousness and a tremendous amount of laziness and thriftlessness.” Cleveland suggested that segregation was not born out of “prejudice”, but out of “racial instinct”. And he praised this “racial instinct” for having “condoned the negro’s share in the humiliation and spoliation of the South” when it was “deluged by the perilous flood of indiscriminate, unintelligent and blighting negro suffrage.” He urged his listeners to be “considerate of the feelings and even the prejudice or racial instincts of our white fellow-countrymen.”
Norman Thomas, the six-time Socialist Party candidate for U.S. President, said the following in a 1944 speech:
“The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of ‘liberalism,’ they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened…. I no longer need to run as a Presidential Candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democratic Party has adopted our platform.”
FDR died in office in 1945 and was succeeded by his Vice President Harry Truman (1945-53), who won election on his own in 1948.
In 1957, congressional Republicans sponsored civil rights legislation that was opposed by Democrats.
In 1960, Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy (1961-63) was elected President in a close vote decided by Texas and Illinois, where historians agree that Democratic ballot fraud was extensive. Kennedy sent the first 16,000 armed U.S. troops into South Vietnam, something his predecessor Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower had refused to do.
In a January 2010 Wall Street Journal article titled “The Fall of The House of Kennedy,” Daniel Henninger pointed out what had been a watershed moment for the Democratic Party 48 years earlier:
“In 1962, President John F. Kennedy planted the seeds that grew the modern Democratic Party. That year, JFK signed executive order 10988 allowing the unionization of the federal work force. This changed everything in the American political system. Kennedy’s order swung open the door for the inexorable rise of a unionized public work force in many states and cities.
“This in turn led to the fantastic growth in membership of the public employee unions—The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the teachers’ National Education Association.
“They broke the public’s bank. More than that, they entrenched a system of taking money from members’ dues and spending it on political campaigns. Over time, this transformed the Democratic Party into a public-sector dependency.
“They became different than the party of FDR, Truman, Meany and Reuther. That party was allied with the fading industrial unions, which in turn were tethered to a real world of profit and loss.
“The states in the North and on the coasts turned blue because blue is the color of the public-sector unions. This tax-and-spend milieu became the training ground for their politicians.”
Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in 1963 and was succeeded by his Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-69). Johnson signed landmark civil rights legislation, passed in Congress with a higher percentage of Republican than Democratic votes. Johnson also greatly expanded JFK’s war in Vietnam and military conscription. In addition, Johnson launched a massive expansion of FDR’s New Deal welfare state that Johnson called the Great Society, which by 2015 would have earmarked an aggregate total of more than $22 trillion to social welfare programs. One day when he was aboard Air Force One, Johnson confided in two like-minded governors regarding his underlying intentions for the Great Society programs, saying: “I’ll have those ni**ers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” In short, he saw government giveaways as a way of buying the allegiance of a permanent, ever-dependent voting bloc for the Democratic Party.
In a similar spirit, Johnson said on another occasion: “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days, and that’s a problem for us, since they’ve got something now they never had before: the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this — we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”
Johnson’s pro-war Vice President Hubert Humphrey, a Minnesota liberal, was defeated in 1968 by Richard Nixon.
The 1960s were the heyday of the radical, anti-American movement known as the New Left. By the early 1970s, however, the New Left had spent its political capital and was a dying movement. But its adherents remained committed to the cause, altering their tactics so as to work within the pilitical and social system in a manner the New Left had previously chosen not to do. These latter-day leftists incorporated the tactics of Saul Alinsky, seeking to change society by first infiltrating its major institutions – the schools, the media, the churches, the entertainment industry, the labor unions, and the three branches of government – and then implementing policies from those positions of power.
Most notably, the ex-New Leftists found a home in the Democratic Party. By 1972, they had seized control of the party, as evidenced by the nomination of George McGovern as the Democratic presidential candidate on an antiwar platform that cast America’s military involvement in Southeast Asia as an immoral, imperialistic venture. Though McGovern lost 49 of the 50 states in the 1972 election, he and the anti-war radicals who flocked to his campaign moved the Democratic Party dramatically to the left. By way of its political ascendancy within the Democratic Party, the New Left, in a political sense, effectively killed off the classical centrist liberals who had vigorously opposed Communist totalitarianism. After accomplishing this parricide, the New Left occupied the corpse of authentic liberalism (i.e., the Democratic Party) and appropriated the name, “liberalism.”
A June 1972 break-in at the Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate complex by operatives connected to the Nixon White House led to a scandal upon which the Democrats capitalized, eventually forcing Nixon’s resignation. Eight of the eleven special prosecutors who toppled Nixon were members of the Kennedy brothers’ inner circle and had served on their staffs. Senator Ted Kennedy was the Chair of the Judiciary Committee that prosecuted Nixon, who resigned in 1974 to avoid formal impeachment by the Democrat-controlled House. Nixon’s appointed successor, Vice President Gerald Ford, was defeated in the 1976 presidential election by Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter (1977-81).
During Carter’s single-term presidency, inflation soared to double-digit levels. Carter withdrew American support from the Shah of Iran (whose government had given rights to women and was a U.S. ally) on the grounds that he was a human rights violator. Carter’s destabilization of the Shah’s regime led in 1979 to the theocratic and radical Islamist regime of Ayatollah Khomeini. The Carter-induced toppling of the Shah also precipitated the Soviet invasion of adjacent Afghanistan that same year, which empowered Osama bin Laden, the Islamist leader of the anti-Soviet guerrilla group al Qaeda.
In 1980 American voters ejected President Carter and elected Republican Ronald Reagan, who served two terms. Reagan had been a passionate New Deal Democrat. Explaining his disenchantment with the Democratic Party’s gradual evolution into a leftist entity, Reagan said, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party left me.” He was succeeded in the White House by his Vice President George H.W. Bush.
In 1992 President Bush was defeated by Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, who promised to “end welfare as we know it” and called himself a “New Democrat.” Upon taking office, Clinton immediately forced into law the largest tax increase in American history, and made it retroactive. Clinton also attempted to force socialized medicine into law — a move that, had it been successful, would have nationalized fully one-seventh of the American economy. Even the restored Democratic majority in Congress balked at this plan and refused to pass it.
In 1994 the voters swept Democrats out of power in both the House and Senate. In 1996 Clinton was reelected with less than 50 percent of all votes cast. His second term was hobbled by scandal and perjury that made him the first elected President in American history to be impeached by the House of Representatives.
As the Democratic candidate for President in 2000, Clinton’s Vice President Al Gore lost to Republican George W. Bush. Democrats for 18 months reclaimed control of the U.S. Senate, then lost it again in the 2002 election.
During Bush’s first term, Democratic Party politicians demanded that he enact Campaign Finance Reform, ostensibly to reduce the influence of wealthy contributors to political candidates. But the Democrats included in the legislation a tiny provision for so-called “527” organizations that would allow ultra-wealthy radicals such as their ally George Soros to contribute unlimited sums of money to the parties and candidates of their choice. The leaders of one of these “Shadow Party” organizations, MoveOn.org, jointly said of the Democratic Party following the 2004 election (in which Democrat John Kerry lost by three million votes to George W. Bush): “Now it’s our Party: we bought it, we own it….”
In February 2005 the party’s ruling Democratic National Committee (DNC) selected as its new Chairman former Vermont Governor and failed 2004 Presidential primary candidate Howard Dean.
In the midterm elections of 2006, Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives and the Senate. In 2008 they increased their majorities in both houses of Congress. Also in 2008, they took control of the White House when Barack Obama was elected President.
Today’s ruling Democratic Party faction, whose members include the so-called “Shadow Party” and its constituent elements, call themselves “progressive Democrats.” These Democrats themselves have a leftwing faction in the House of Representatives which is formally organized into the Progressive Caucus.
Other Democratic Party factions include the following:
Southern Democrats by seniority used to chair most House and Senate committees, thereby wielding even more power than their numbers indicated. All were white during the past era of Democratic dominance, owing to Democrat success in suppressing African-American voting rights in segregated states, and most tended to be strong supporters of military spending. In the modern South, however, a majority of white voters have become conservative Republicans, and Democratic politicians are increasingly African-American and politically far to the left.
New Democrats are centrists associated with the Democratic Leadership Council. The best known of these is Bill Clinton. Others would include Senators Joseph Lieberman and Evan Bayh. President Clinton supported the death penalty, signed legislation that ended welfare as an entitlement, and signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) favored by business. New Democrats believe that the future survival and success of the Democratic Party depends on its being perceived as returning from the left to the political center.
Additional Democratic factions orbit specific special interest groups such as organized labor and the Congressional Black Caucus. These auxiliaries usually work in concert with the Progressive Caucus.
On December 8, 2009, former DNC Chairman Howard Dean said that “cooperation” between European socialists and the Democratic Party had “intensified significantly” over the preceding several years and involved “regular contact” at “Congress, Senate, party and foundation levels.” He added that “efforts have been remarkable from both sides.”
Democrats and the War on Terror
As American soldiers encountered a fanatical Islamic enemy on the battlefields of Iraq beginning in 2003, prominent Democrats condemned President Bush as a deceiver who led them to war through “lies;” as a destroyer of American liberties; as a desecrator of the Constitution; as a usurper who stole his high office; as the architect of an “unnecessary war;” as a “fraud;” as a leader who “betrayed us;” and as a president who cynically sent the flower of American youth to die in foreign lands in order to enrich himself and his friends.
These charges were made not by fringe elements of the political spectrum, but by national leaders of the Democratic Party, including a former president, a former vice president and presidential candidate, and three members of the United States Senate (among them a one-time presidential candidate). These attacks occurred not after years of fighting in Iraq, when some might regard the result as a “quagmire,” but during the first months of the conflict, when the fighting had barely begun. They were made not over a war that was forced on Americans, or surreptitiously launched without their consent, but a war authorized by both political parties. They were directed not merely at its conduct, but at the rationale of the war itself—in other words, at the very justice of the American cause.
Although they voted for the bill to authorize the war, leaders of the Democratic Party, such as Senator Hillary Clinton, turned around after it was in progress and claimed that it was “George Bush’s war,” not theirs. They argued that Bush alone had decided to remove Saddam Hussein, when in fact it was a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, who had made regime change the policy of the United States.
Four years before Bush ordered American troops into Iraq, Clinton had asked Congress to pass an “Iraq Liberation Act,” which specifically called for regime change by force. To emphasize the seriousness with which he regarded the threat that Saddam posed, Clinton ordered the American military to fire more than four hundred cruise missiles into Iraq. The Iraq Liberation Act authorized American aid for any insurgent group that was ready to overthrow the regime. It was ratified by both political parties—Democrats and Republicans—with barely a dissenting vote.
In late 2002, when President Bush asked Congress to authorize the use of force to drive Saddam from power, a Democratic majority in the Senate supported his request. When American forces entered Iraq on March 19, 2003, a large majority of the Democratic leadership, including the former president, his secretaries of state and defense, and his entire national security team, supported the invasion. When the Iraqi regime was overthrown three weeks later, the Democratic leadership joined in the celebration, although some dissenters, such as Representative Nancy Pelosi, were already complaining that it cost too much.
But by mid-2003, many leading Democrats were contending that the war was “unnecessary” because Iraq posed “no threat.” They maintained that because the war in Iraq was a war of “choice,” it was therefore immoral.
Above all, they claimed the president had manipulated intelligence about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and thus the premise of the war. But copies of the National Intelligence Estimate on which the president’s decision was based were provided to every Democratic senator who voted for or against it. The findings were confirmed by government intelligence agencies around the world, including those of France,Britain, Russia, and Jordan. In other words, President Bush could not have manipulated the intelligence on which the vote was based and the war was actually authorized.
In attempting to make the war in Iraq a sinister plot of the Bush administration, Democrats claimed that it was a distraction from the war with the Islamic terrorists who had attacked America. “The issue is the war they got us into,” Nancy Pelosi told _60 Minutes _just before she became Speaker of the House. “If the president wants to say the war in Iraq is part of the war on terror, he’s not right.”
60 Minutes: Do you not think that the war in Iraq now, today, is the war on terror?
Pelosi: No. The war on terror is the war in Afghanistan.
60 Minutes: But you don’t think that the terrorists have moved into Iraq now?
Pelosi: They have. The jihadists in Iraq. But that doesn’t mean we stay there. They’ll stay there as long as we’re there.
60 Minutes: You mean if we leave Iraq, the terrorists will leave?
It was July 2003, only four months after American forces had entered Iraq, when the Democratic Party launched its first all-out attack on the president’s credibility and the morality of the war. The opening salvos were reported in a _New York Times _article: “Democratic presidential candidates offered a near-unified assault today on President Bush’s credibility in his handling of the Iraq War, signaling a shift in the political winds by aggressively invoking arguments most had shunned since the fall of Baghdad.”
While American forces battled al-Qaeda and Ba’athist insurgents in the Iraqi capital, the Democratic National Committee released a television ad that focused not on winning those battles, but on the very legitimacy of the war. The theme of the ad was “Read His Lips: President Bush Deceives the American People.” The alleged deception was sixteen words that had been included in the State of the Union address he delivered on the eve of the conflict.
These words summarized a British intelligence report claiming that Iraq had attempted to acquire fissionable uranium in the African state of Niger, thus indicating Saddam’s (well-known) intentions to develop nuclear weapons. The report was subsequently confirmed by a bipartisan Senate committee and a British investigative commission, but not until many months had passed and the Democratic attacks had taken their toll. On the surface, the attacks were directed at the president’s credibility for repeating the British claim. But their clear implication was to question the decision to go to war—in other words, to cast doubt on the credibility of the American cause. If Saddam had not sought fissionable uranium in Niger, it was suggested, then the White House had lied in describing Saddam as a threat.
In the midst of a war, and in the face of a determined terrorist resistance in Iraq, Democrats had launched an attack on America’s presence on the field of battle. This separated their assault from the normal criticism of war policies. Senator John Edwards, then a candidate for the Democrats’ 2004 presidential nomination, had voted to authorize the war and was still claiming to support it. In an interview with the New York Times, he identified the significance of the Democrats’ attack: “The most important attribute that any president has is his credibility—his credibility with the American people, with its allies and with the world.” But even as Edwards said this, he joined the Democrats’ attack, publicly insinuating that the president was a liar who had deceived the American people on the gravest issue imaginable. “When the president’s own statements are called into question,” Edwards explained to the reporter, “it’s a very serious matter.”
General Ion Mihai Pacepa was the highest-ranking intelligence official ever to defect from the Soviet bloc during the Cold War. In a commentary about the attacks on President Bush during the war in Iraq, Pacepa recalled: “Sowing the seeds of anti-Americanism by discrediting the American president was one of the main tasks of the Soviet-bloc intelligence community during the years I worked at its top levels.” No president can marshal his nation’s resources if his people distrust him or don’t believe in their own cause. To attack a president’s credibility in the middle of a war, over a matter as ambiguous as a sixteen-word summary of an allied intelligence report, is an attempt to undermine the war itself.
During the Vietnam War, General Pacepa wrote, Soviet intelligence “spread vitriolic stories around the world, pretending that America’s presidents sent Genghis Khan-style barbarian soldiers to Vietnam who raped at random, taped electrical wires to human genitals, cut off limbs, blew up bodies and razed entire villages. Those weren’t facts. They were our tales, but … as Yuri Andropov, who conceived this _dezinformatsiya _war against the U.S., used to tell me, people are more willing to believe smut than holiness.”
Nor did this Soviet campaign to discredit the United States stop with Vietnam. As Pacepa explains: “The final goal of our anti-American offensive was to discourage the United States from protecting the world against communist terrorism and expansion. Sadly, we succeeded. After U.S. forces precipitously pulled out of Vietnam, the victorious communists massacred some two million people in Vietnam, Laos andCambodia. Another million tried to escape, but many died in the attempt. This tragedy also created a credibility gap between America and the rest of the world, damaged the cohesion of American foreign policy, and poisoned domestic debate in the United States.”
Dissent is a cherished and justly protected right in a democracy. But it is also a privilege. The right to dissent exists only on condition that the government that guarantees it is able to defend itself against enemies who would destroy it. No bulwark has been more durable or more important to the stability and survival of America’s democratic order than the solidarity of its leaders in wartime. A president under relentless attack from the domestic opposition has less political space for flexible response. The more severe the attacks, the more limited his room for political maneuver. If the Bush administration was slow to admit error in the Iraq War, or to take corrective measures on the field of battle, the unrestrained attacks on its integrity and motives were undoubtedly a significant factor.
The reckless criticism by opponents of the war also buoyed enemy morale.
Democrats offered an explanation for their defection from a war they originally supported: the president was to blame. But this is a claim that will not stand up to even the most cursory inspection. Between the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, which the Democrats supported, and their attacks on the legitimacy of the war, which began in June, three months later, no event transpired on the battlefield and no change took place in the administration’s war policy that would explain their defection. What changed was the internal politics of the Democratic Party, and this was a direct result of the antiwar campaign organized by the Left.
By coincidence, the buildup to the war took place during the early stages of a presidential-primary campaign, in the winter and spring of 2003. By June, the candidacy of an obscure Vermont governor named Howard Dean, a veteran of the anti-Vietnam Left, had gathered such momentum that he appeared to have become the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. It was this political fact that precipitated an about-face on the war by more prominent Democrats, such as John Kerry and John Edwards, who eventually captured the party’s nominations. It was the antiwar radicals in the Dean campaign, not any events on the ground in Iraq, that produced the change in the position of leading Democrats and eventually of the Democratic Party as a whole. It was the political force of the antiwar movement, rather than any fact about the war, that explains the change.
Democrats believe that the War on Terror began as a blunder committed by the Bush administration, even an _invention _of the Bush administration, rather than an actual war that was declared on America by Osama bin Laden and the global forces of Islamofascism. This was the point of the celebrated statement candidate John Edwards made in 2007, during the presidential primary campaign: “The war on terror is a slogan designed only for politics,” Edwards claimed. “It is not a strategy to make America safe. It’s a bumper sticker, not a plan.” And further: “We need a post-Bush, post-9-11, post-Iraq military that is mission-focused on protecting Americans from 21st century threats, not misused for discredited ideological purposes. By framing this as a war, we have walked right into the trap the terrorists have set—that we are engaged in some kind of clash of civilizations and a war on Islam.”
The same point had been made by the billionaire Democrat financier George Soros a year earlier. In a Wall Street Journal article, he explained that the War on Terror was “a misleading figure of speech [which] applied literally has unleashed a real war fought on several fronts—Iraq, Gaza, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Somalia—a war that has killed thousands of innocent civilians and enraged millions around the world . . . [W]e can escape it only if we Americans repudiate the war on terror as a false metaphor.”
In this view, George Bush and America were responsible for the war that radical Islam had launched against the United States.
* This section (“Democrats and the War on Terror”) is adapted from “Party of Defeat,” authored by David Horowitz and Ben Johnson and published by FrontPageMag.com on April 11, 2008.
Democrats and Socialism:
In April 2010, the official website of the Social Democrats USA (SDUSA) revealed that organization’s ties to the Democratic Party. Describing itself as a “Party Within a Party,” SDUSA stated the following:
“The Social Democrats, USA kept the name Socialist Party for our political arm because we are the party of Eugene Debs, Mother Jones, Helen Keller, Carl Sandburg, Norman Thomas, A. Philip Randolph, Bayard Rustin, and thousands of people who worked to build the civil rights and trade union movements in this country. Many good folks gave their lives in these movements.
“The Socialist Party, USA, in 1956, chose to stop running candidates of its own, except on rare occasion. During the 1960’s, we began to work in the Democratic Party. This is where our allies in the civil rights and trade union movement worked and continue to work politically. We are proud of what we helped accomplish within the Democratic Party, particularly the civil rights legislation and anti-poverty programs of the 1960’s. The struggle continues….
“Our movement has been involved in the left wing of the Democratic Party since 1947. Socialist Party members helped found Americans for Democratic Action. ADA is this country’s premiere “anti-Communist, liberal” organization. We are proud of our long relationships with Eleanor Roosevelt, Hubert Humphrey, and others. We look forward to forging a good working relationship with our fellow pro-labor, anti-totalitarian, left Democrats.”
Late in 2010, Communist Party USA member C.J. Atkins called for his comrades to drop their “communist” label, so that they could work more effectively inside the Democratic Party. Soon thereafter, Joe Sims, co-editor of the CPUSA publication Peoples World, acknowledged not only that collaboration with the Democrats “will be an area of engagement for those wanting to make a difference,” but also that communists might someday be able to “capture” the Democratic Party entirely. Sims warned, however, against dissolving the CPUSA entirely into the Democratic Party. Rather, he advised his organization to remain a separate entity, working both inside and outside the Democratic Party as circumstances required.
A Party Controlled by Big Lawyers, Big Labor, Big Green, and Big Billionaires
In January 2011, Washington Examiner executive editor Mark Tapcsott enumerated the forces and special-interest groups that now dominate the Democratic Party:
“[B]ig Lawyers … and three other special interests — Big Labor union leaders, Big Green environmentalists, and Big Insiders with billions of dollars in personal wealth and foundation grants — together essentially dictate what Democrats can and cannot support on many key public policy issues…. These four groups provide most of the campaign funding and workers, political and policy expertise, legal and regulatory muscle, and strategic communications for the Democratic Party. Consequently, most Democrats are prisoners of a narrow agenda of constantly growing government budgets, regulation and taxing. have influenced the agenda of the Democratic Party and moved the party far to the left of mainstream America. These special interests have used the power of the purse to co-opt the agenda of the Democratic Party vis-a-vis campaign contributions and independent expenditures.”
Democratic Platform Endorses Taxpayer-Funded Abortions:*
On September 4, 2012, The Weekly Standard reported:
The 2012 Democratic party will officially adopt an extreme position on the issue of abortion on Tuesday. According to a copy of the party platform, which was released online just before midnight on Monday, “The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay.”
That last part–“regardless of ability to pay”–is an endorsement of taxpayer-funded abortions, a policy that President Obama has personally endorsed. Obama wants Medicaid to pay directly for elective abortions, and Obamacare will allow beneficiaries to use federal subsidies to purchase health care plans that cover elective abortions.
According to a 2009 Quinnipiac poll, 72 percent of voters oppose public funding of abortion and 23 percent support it. In other words, public funding of abortion–a policy President Obama actively supports–is as unpopular as banning abortion in the case of rape, a policy on which the media have focused much attention over the past two weeks despite the fact that neither presidential candidate supports it.
The 2012 Democratic party also endorses an unrestricted right to abortion-on-demand. According to the platform, on the issue of abortion “there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way.”
Pro-Israel language is removed from the Democratic Party platform:*
On September 4, 2012, FreeBeacon.com reported the following:
Several pro-Israel sections of the 2008 Democratic Party platform have been removed from the 2012 platform—on Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, and Hamas. The new platform represents another shift by the Obama Democrats toward the Palestinian position on key issues in the peace process.
For Jerusalem, the new platform has been brought into line with the Obama administration’s policy of not recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and supporting its division. Jerusalem is unmentioned in the 2012 document, whereas the 2008 and 2004 Democratic Party platforms declared “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel…It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.” The Obama administration’s refusal to recognize Jerusalem has been a point of significant controversy in recent months.
On the issue of Palestinian refugees, the new document has removed language from the 2004 and 2008 platforms specifying that Palestinian “refugees” should be settled in a future Palestinian state, not in Israel.
The 2004 platform: “The creation of a Palestinian state should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel.”
The 2008 platform: The peace process “should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel.”
The 2012 platform contains no language on the matter.
Previously, Obama has incorporated the Palestinian positions on Jerusalem and borders into his administration’s policies. It appears that with his party’s new platform, he is also doing so with refugees.
Gone as well is the language from 2008 on the terrorist group Hamas, which currently controls the Gaza Strip. That platform declared, “The United States and its Quartet partners should continue to isolate Hamas until it renounces terrorism, recognizes Israel’s right to exist, and abides by past agreements.”
The 2012 platform contains no mention of Hamas.
Previous platforms also contained promises to maintain Israel’s “qualitative military edge” in the region. The 2008 platform, for example, spoke of a “commitment which requires us to ensure that Israel retains a qualitative edge for its national security and its right to self-defense.” The 2012 platform mentions only that “[t]he administration has also worked to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region,” with no commitment to doing so in the future.
The Democratic platform also eliminated its previous assertion that: “We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values, and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.”
Democrats reinstate references to Israel and God in their party platform, after public outcry:
On September 5, 2012, following much public criticism of the fact that the Democratic Party platform had failed to identify Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and had eliminated any reference to God, Democrats amended the platform to restore the references to Jerusalem and God. Party delegates meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, approved the two amendments after three voice votes and over the objections of many people on the convention floor. The passage of the amendments required a two-thirds majority. But each of the three voice votes seemed to indicate that the two sides were about evenly split, perhaps even that those opposed to the amendments outnumbered those in favor. The lack of a clear two-thirds majority was what caused the Democratic Convention chairman, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, to call for the second and third voice votes. In each instance, it was clear that a two-thirds majority did not exist. Nonetheless, following the third voice vote Villaraigosa announced that the amendments had been passed.
In January 2015, Communist Party USA National Committee chairman John Bachtell published an essay in People’s World stating that American communists were eager to work with the Democratic Party in order to advance their goals. For details, click here.
Repudiating Former Presidents Who Owned Slaves
In July 2015, pressure from the NAACP caused Connecticut’s state Democratic Party to vote unanimously to remove the names of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson from its annual Jefferson Jackson Bailey fundraising dinner. At issue was the NAACP’s complaint that the two former presidents owned slaves, as well as Jackson’s role in the removal of Native Americans from the southeastern United States. Scot X. Esdaile, the head of Connecticut’s NAACP, said: “I would applaud the current leaders in Connecticut in making the symbolic first step and striving to right the wrongs of the past. You can’t right all the wrongs, but I think it’s a symbolic gesture of our support for their party.” “I see it as the right thing to do,” said Nick Balletto, the party’s first-year chairman. “I wasn’t looking to be a trailblazer or set off a trend that’s going to affect the rest of the country. Hopefully, they’ll follow suit when they see it’s the right thing to do.”
Endorsing the Black Lives Matter Movement
In the summer of 2015, the Democratic National Committee officially endorsed the increasingly violent Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, whose members accuse police nationwide of systemic anti-black racism and brutality against black suspects. Specifically, the Democrats embraced a statement condemning the U.S. for its allegedly systemic police violence against African-Americans. A draft of the BLM statement included the following language:
WHEREAS, the Democratic Party believes in the American Dream and the promise of liberty and justice for all, and we know that this dream is a nightmare for too many young people stripped of their dignity under the vestiges of slavery, Jim Crow and White Supremacy; and
WHEREAS, we, the Democratic National Committee, have repeatedly called for race and justice – demilitarization of police, ending racial profiling, criminal justice reform, and investments in young people, families, and communities — after Trayvon Martin, after Michael Brown, after Tamir Rice, after Freddie Gray, after Sandra Bland, after Christian Taylor, after too many others lost in the unacceptable epidemic of extrajudicial killings of unarmed black men, women, and children at the hands of police …
WHEREAS, without systemic reform this state of unrest jeopardizes the well-being of our democracy and our nation;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the DNC joins with Americans across the country in affirming “Black lives matter” and the “say her name” efforts to make visible the pain of our fellow and sister Americans as they condemn extrajudicial killings of unarmed African American men, women and children …
(The “Say Her Name” campaign is an offshoot of Black Lives Matter that claims not enough attention is paid to black female victims of police brutality.)
In the document, the DNC also “renews our previous calls to action and urges Congress to adopt systemic reforms at state, local, and federal levels to prohibit law enforcement from profiling based on race, nationality, ethnicity, or religion, to minimize the transfer of excess equipment (like the military-grade vehicles and weapons that were used to police peaceful civilians in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri) to federal and state law enforcement; and to support prevention programs that give young people alternatives to incarceration.”
The DNC delegates approved the foregoing resolution on the same day a white sheriff’s deputy in Texas was shot to death by a black suspect in an unprovoked attack. The next day, Black Lives Matter demonstrators marched near the Minnesota state fair chanting violent anti-police slogans and carrying signs reading “End White Supremacy.” Activists shouted “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon” — a reference to dead police officers in body bags — while walking (protected by police) on a highway south of the fairgrounds.
Joe Biden’s Ukraine Scandal
In August 2006, Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, who was a Washington lobbyist at that time, became the president of Paradigm Companies, a hedge fund group in which Joe Biden’s brother James also played a prominent role. In his position with Paradigm, Hunter Biden was paid $1.2 million per year despite the fact that he had no experience in the hedge fund sector. In 2007-08: (a) Hunter and James Biden were sued by consultant Anthony Lotito for allegedly cheating the latter out of fees that were owed to him; and (b) Hunter Biden was also sued by a former Paradigm executive over alleged unpaid compensation.
In February 2014, Hunter Biden was discharged from the Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine use. Two months later, in April 2014 – a mere three weeks after Joe Biden had visited Ukraine to urge its government to increase its natural gas production – Hunter Biden was appointed to the board of Burisma Holdings, a large Ukrainian natural gas company. The position paid him as much as $83,000 per month, even though he had no expertise in either Ukrainian matters or natural gas.
In April 2014 as well, British officials who were investigating allegations of Burisma’s involvement in money laundering, froze a number of London bank accounts containing $23 million that belonged to Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevksy.
In March 2016 – while Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, Viktor Shokin, was actively investigating Burisma’s alleged corruption – Vice President Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees to the Ukrainian government unless it agreed to fire Shokin immediately. Because the revocation of American aid would have been devastating to Ukraine, President Petro Poroshenko caved to Biden’s threat and fired Shokin on March 29. At the time of Shokin’s termination, he and other Ukrainian prosecutors were in the midst of preparing a request to interview Hunter Biden about his activities and the funds he was receiving from Ukraine.
In a sworn affidavit prepared for a European court, Shokin later testified that he had been told that the reason for his firing was that Joe Biden was troubled by the Burisma investigation. “The truth,” said Shokin, “is that I was forced out because I was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma Holdings, a natural gas firm active in Ukraine and Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was a member of the Board of Directors. On several occasions President Poroshenko asked me to have a look at the case against Burisma and consider the possibility of winding down the investigative actions in respect of this company but I refused to close this investigation.”
And here is how Joe Biden himself – in a January 2018 speech at the Council on Foreign Relations – boastfully recollected his own role in getting Shokin fired:
“I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. I had gotten a commitment from [Ukrainian President] Poroshenko and from [Prime Minister] Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor [Shokin]. And they didn’t. So they said they had — they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to — or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, ‘you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president [Obama] said’ — I said, ‘call him’ [Obama]. I said, ‘I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars.’ I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in,’ I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”
Biden claimed that he had pressured Ukraine to fire Shokin not because the prosecutor was investigating the vice president’s son, but rather, because Shokin himself was corrupt and incompetent. But that narrative was debunked by journalist John Solomon, who wrote in September 2019:
“Hundreds of pages of never-released memos and documents — many from inside the American team helping Burisma to stave off its legal troubles — conflict with Biden’s narrative…. For instance, Burisma’s American legal representatives met with Ukrainian officials just days after Biden forced the firing of the country’s chief prosecutor and offered ‘an apology for dissemination of false information by U.S. representatives and public figures’ about the Ukrainian prosecutors, according to the Ukrainian government’s official memo of the meeting. The effort to secure that meeting began the same day the prosecutor’s firing was announced. In addition, Burisma’s American team offered to introduce Ukrainian prosecutors to Obama administration officials to make amends, according to that memo and the American legal team’s internal emails.”
“The memos raise troubling questions,” Solomon added. “If the Ukraine prosecutor’s firing involved only his alleged corruption and ineptitude, why did Burisma’s American legal team refer to those allegations as ‘false information’? [And] if the firing had nothing to do with the Burisma case, as Biden has adamantly claimed, why would Burisma’s American lawyers contact the replacement prosecutor within hours of the termination and urgently seek a meeting in Ukraine to discuss the case?”
Following “Whistleblower” Allegations, Biden & Fellow Democrats Condemn President Trump for Asking Ukrainian President to Reopen the Burisma Corruption Probe That Biden Had Shut Down in 2016
On August 12, 2019, an unidentified “whistleblower” from the intelligence community filed a complaint in which he expressed his own “urgent concern” regarding a July 25, 2019 conversation between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Most notably, said the informant, Trump had asked Zelenskyy to look into why Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin had been fired in 2016 as a result of political and financial threats by then-Vice President Joe Biden. Some key excerpts from the whistleblower’s complaint:
- “In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election. This interference includes, among other things, pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the President’s main domestic political rivals [Joe Biden].”
- “I was not a direct witness to most of the events described. However, I found my colleagues’ accounts of these events to be credible because, in almost all cases, multiple officials recounted fact patterns that were consistent with one another. In addition, a variety of information consistent with these private accounts has been reported publicly.”
- “I am deeply concerned that the actions described below constitute ‘a serious or flagrant problem, abuse, or violation of law or Executive Order’ that ‘does not include differences of opinions concerning public policy matters.’ … I am also concerned that these actions pose risks to U.S. national security and undermine the U.S. Government’s efforts to deter and counter foreign interference in U.S. elections.”
- “Early in the morning of 25 July, the President spoke by telephone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy…. Multiple White House officials with direct knowledge of the call informed me that, after an initial exchange of pleasantries, the President used the remainder of the call to advance his personal interests. Namely, he sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the President’s 2020 reelection bid. According to the White House officials who had direct knowledge of the call, the President pressured Mr. Zelenskyy to, inter alia:
• initiate or continue an investigation2 into the activities of former Vice President Joseph Biden and his son, Hunter Biden;
• assist in purportedly uncovering that allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election originated in Ukraine, with a specific request that the Ukrainian leader locate and turn over servers used by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and examined by the U.S. cyber security firm Crowdstrike, which initially reported that Russian hackers had penetrated the DNC’s networks in 2016; and
• meet or speak with two people the President named explicitly as his personal envoys on these matters, Mr. Giuliani and Attorney General Barr, to whom the President referred multiple times in tandem.”
As The Federalist website noted: “The formal complaint from an anti-Trump ‘whistleblower’ alleging various crimes by President Donald Trump is riddled with third-hand gossip and outright falsehoods…. The document itself is riddled not with evidence directly viewed by the complainant, but repeated references to what anonymous officials allegedly told the complainant.”
Under traditional whistleblower rules – which required whistleblowers to provide direct, first-hand knowledge of alleged wrongdoings – this “whistleblower” would not have been able to file his complaint. But sometime between May 2018 and August 2019, the intelligence community had secretly eliminated that rule; now, whistleblower complaints could be filed even by individuals who had only “heard about [wrongdoing] from others.”
When Democrats — falsely claiming that Trump had engaged in a quid-pro-quo discussion wherein he made U.S. aid contingent upon a Ukrainian investigation of Biden — erupted with outrage and vowed to use Trump’s July 25 conversation with Zelenskyy as a reason to initiate a “formal impeachment inquiry” against the president, Trump declassified and made public a transcript of the conversation, as it had been transcribed by note-takers in the White House Situation Room. Below are the most noteworthy remarks made by both Trump and Zelenskyy in the course of their dialog:
• TRUMP: “I will say that we [the U.S.] do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than the European countries are doing and they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk and I think it’s something that you should really ask them about. When I was speaking to Angela Merkel she talks Ukraine, but she doesn’t do anything. A lot of the European countries are the same way so I think it’s something you want to look at but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine. I wouldn’t say that it’s reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine.”
• TRUMP: “I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike [a California-based cybersecurity technology company that helped investigate the Democratic National Committee cyber attacks and connected those attacks to Russian intelligence services] … I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.”
• ZELENSKYY: “Yes, it is very important for me and everything that you just mentioned earlier…. I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly.. That I can assure you.”
• TRUMP: Good, because I heard you had a prosecutor [Shokin] who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. [Trump attorney Rudolph] Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that. The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”
• ZELENSKYY: “I wanted to tell you about the prosecutor. First of all, I understand and I’m knowledgeable about the situation. Since we have won the absolute majority in our Parliament, the next prosecutor general will be 100% my person, my candidate, who will be approved, by the parliament and will start as a new prosecutor in September. He or she will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue….”
• TRUMP: “I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it. I’m sure you will figure it out. I heard the prosecutor was treated very badly and he was a very fair prosecutor, so good luck with everything.”
On October 8, 2019, newsman John Solomon reported that a newly unearthed document showed that Ukrainian officials in the NABU — an FBI-like anti-corruption agency in Ukraine — had already opened a new probe into Burisma Holdings, the firm on whose board Hunter Biden had served, five months prior to the July 25, 2019 telephone conversation between Presidents Trump and Zelenskyy. “The U.S. government had open-source intelligence and was aware as early as February of 2019 [when Petro Poroshenko was still Ukraine’s president] that the Ukrainian government was planning to reopen the Burisma investigation,” said Solomon. “This is long before the president ever imagined having a call with President Zelensky. This is a significant shift in the factual timeline.” This information, Solomon added, had been omitted from the whistleblower’s complaint recently lodged against Trump. Solomon’s revelation was monumentally significant because it meant that Trump’s calls for a Ukrainian investigation of Biden and Burisma would not have changed anything; the investigation had already been active for five months.
On October 10, 2019, it was learned that the whistleblower was a career CIA analyst who had been detailed to the National Security Council at the White House, where he had worked with Joe Biden during the latter’s tenure as vice president.
Other Occasions When Democrats Have Pressured Ukraine to Interfere in American Politics
When Vice President Biden pressured the Ukrainian government to fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin in March 2016, by no means was that the only time a Democrat in recent years has used his political influence either to interfere in Ukrainian politics, or to facilitate Ukrainian interference in American politics. As John Solomon wrote in The Hill in September 2019:
- “Democrats repeatedly have exerted pressure on Ukraine, a key U.S. ally for buffering Russia, to meddle in U.S. politics and elections, … [since] as early as January 2016, when the Obama White House unexpectedly invited Ukraine’s top prosecutors to Washington to discuss fighting corruption in the country. The meeting, promised as training, turned out to be more of a pretext for the Obama administration to pressure Ukraine’s prosecutors to drop an investigation into the Burisma Holdings gas company that employed Hunter Biden and to look for new evidence in a then-dormant criminal case against eventual Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, a GOP lobbyist.”
- “Democrats continued to tap Ukraine for Trump dirt throughout the 2016 election…. Nellie Ohr, the wife of senior U.S. Justice Department official Bruce Ohr [who detested presidential candidate Donald Trump], worked in 2016 as a contractor for Fusion GPS, the same Hillary Clinton-funded opposition research firm that hired Christopher Steele, the British spy who wrote the now-debunked dossier linking Trump to Russia collusion. Nellie Ohr testified to Congress that some of the dirt she found on Trump during her 2016 election opposition research came from a Ukrainian parliament member. She also said that she eventually took the information to the FBI through her husband — another way Ukraine got inserted into the 2016 election.”
- “Shortly after the Ukrainian prosecutors returned from their  Washington meeting, a new round of Democratic pressure was exerted on Ukraine — this time via its embassy in Washington. Valeriy Chaly, the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States at the time, confirmed to me … that, in March 2016, a contractor for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) pressed his embassy to try to find any Russian dirt on Trump and Manafort that might reside in Ukraine’s intelligence files. The DNC contractor also asked Chaly’s team to try to persuade Ukraine’s president at the time, Petro Poroshenko, to make a statement disparaging Manafort when the Ukrainian leader visited the United States during the 2016 election. Chaly said his embassy rebuffed both requests because it recognized they were improper efforts to get a foreign government to try to influence the election against Trump and for Hillary Clinton.”
- “Nazar Kholodnytsky, Ukraine’s chief anti-corruption prosecutor, told me that, soon after he returned from the Washington meeting,… two top Ukrainian officials released secret evidence to the American media, smearing Manafort. The release of the evidence forced Manafort to step down as Trump’s top campaign adviser. A Ukrainian court concluded [in December 2018] that the release of the evidence amounted to an unlawful intervention in the U.S. election by Kiev’s government, although that ruling has since been overturned on a technicality.”
In an audio recording from 2016, Artem Sytnyk, Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, could be heard admitting that he was trying to boost the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton by sabotaging that of Republican Donald Trump. Said Sytnyk in the recording: “Hillary, she is – how shall I put it? She belongs to the cohort of politicians who comprise the hegemony in the U.S. Both in the U.S. and the entire world, right? For us, it’s … sort of … better. For Americans … what Trump is doing is better for them.” In 2016 as well, Sytnyk released a “black ledger” containing information designed to bring down then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Sytnyk was eventually tried and convicted in Ukraine for interfering in America’s 2016 presidential election.
The key figure who helped the Democratic National Committee (DNC) connect with the Ukrainian government in 2016 was DNC consultant Alexandra Chalupa, who had previously worked in the White House Office of Public Liaison during the Bill Clinton administration. Chalupa in 2016 worked directly with the Ukrainian embassy in the U.S. to portray Manafort in a negative light. The embassy, in turn, worked collaboratively with reporters who were researching Trump, Manafort, and Russia. The Ukrainian embassy’s then-political officer, Andrii Telizhenko, candidly stated that the Ukrainians “were coordinating an investigation with the Hillary team on Paul Manafort with Alexandra Chalupa” and that “the embassy worked very closely with” Chalupa.
In a 2016 email to the DNC’s Louise Miranda, Chalupa wrote: “Hey, a lot coming down the pipe. I spoke to a delegation of 68 investigative journalists from Ukraine last night at the Library of Congress, the Open World Society forum. They put me on the program to speak specifically about Paul Manafort. I invited Michael Isikoff, who I’ve been working with for the past few weeks, and connected him to the Ukrainians. More offline tomorrow, since there was a big Trump component you and Lauren need to be aware of that will hit in the next few weeks. Something I’m working on that you should be aware of.”
In January 2017, Politico reported:
“Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found. A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation. The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race, helping to force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump’s campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia.”
In a July 20, 2017 letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) expressed his own concern regarding reports that Ukraine’s political leadership in 2016 had “opposed the candidacy of Donald Trump for president of the United States and worked with a Democratic National Committee consultant [Alexandra Chalupa] to undermine his campaign.” “This consultant,” wrote Grassley in a press release announcing the letter, “allegedly had various meetings with Ukrainian government officials, including embassy staff, to coordinate the dissemination of incriminating information about Trump campaign officials. It appears that this consultant was operating to advance the interests of both the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton campaign, and a foreign government, which would have required registration under FARA [the Foreign Agents Registration Act].”
In his letter to Rosenstein, Grassley, using footnotes to document the sources of the quotes he cited, wrote:
- “According to news reports, during the 2016 presidential election, ‘Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump’ and did so by ‘disseminat[ing] documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter…’ Ukrainian officials also reportedly ‘helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers.’ At the center of this plan was Alexandra Chalupa, described by reports as a Ukrainian-American operative ‘who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee’ and reportedly met with Ukrainian officials during the presidential election for the express purpose of exposing alleged ties between then-candidate Donald Trump, Paul Manafort, and Russia. Politico also reported on a Financial Times story that quoted a Ukrainian legislator, Serhiy Leschenko, saying that Trump’s candidacy caused ‘Kiev’s wider political leadership to do something they would never have attempted before: intervene, however indirectly, in a U.S. election.’
- “Reporting indicates that the Democratic National Committee encouraged Chalupa to interface with Ukrainian embassy staff to ‘arrange an interview in which Poroshenko [the president of Ukraine] might discuss Manafort’s ties to [Viktor] Yanukovych’, [who served as Ukraine’s president from 2010-14] Chalupa also met with Valeriy Chaly, Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.S., and Oksana Shulyar, a top aid to the Ukrainian ambassador in March 2016 and shared her alleged concerns about Manafort. Reports state that the purpose of their initial meeting was to ‘organize a June reception at the embassy to promote Ukraine.’ However, another Ukrainian embassy official, Andrii Telizhenko, told Politico that Shulyar instructed him to assist Chalupa with research to connect Trump, Manafort, and the Russians. He reportedly said, ‘[t]hey were coordinating an investigation with the Hillary team on Paul Manafort with Alexandra Chalupa’ and that ‘Oksana [Shulyar] was keeping it all quiet … the embassy worked very closely with’ Chalupa.
- “Chalupa’s actions appear to show that she was simultaneously working on behalf of a foreign government, Ukraine, and on behalf of the DNC and Clinton campaign, in an effort to influence not only the U.S voting population but U.S. government officials. Indeed, Telizhenko recalled that Chalupa told him and Shulyar, ‘[i]f we can get enough information on Paul [Manafort] or Trump’s involvement with Russia, she can get a hearing in Congress by September.’ Later, Chalupa did reportedly meet with staff in the office of Democratic representative Marcy Kaptur to discuss a congressional investigation. Such a public investigation would not only benefit the Hillary Clinton campaign, but it would benefit the Ukrainian government, which, at the time, was working against the Trump campaign….
- “Aside from the apparent evidence of collusion between the DNC, Clinton campaign, and Ukrainian government, Chalupa’s actions implicate the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)…. FARA requires individuals to register with the Justice Department if they act, even through an intermediary, ‘as an agent, representative, employee, or servant’ or ‘in any other capacity’ at the behest of a foreign principal, including a foreign political party, for purposes of engagement with a United States official. The registration applies to anyone who attempts to influence a U.S. government official on behalf of a foreign principal in an effort to ‘formulat[e], adopt, or chang[e] the domestic or foreign policies of the United States.”
Occasions When Democrats Have Tried to Interfere in Ukrainian Politics
- In May 2019, CNN reported that Democratic Senators Robert Menendez, Richard Durbin, and Patrick Leahy wrote a letter to Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, Yuriy Lutsenko, expressing concern at the closing of four investigations which they said were critical to special counsel Robert Mueller’s (failed) probe of alleged collusion between Donald Trump and the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election season. In their letter, the three senators implied that their support for U.S. financial assistance to Ukraine would hinge on Lutsenko’s adherence to their wishes. “We have supported [the] capacity-building process and are disappointed that some in [Kiev] appear to have cast aside these [democratic] principles to avoid the ire of President Trump,” the senators wrote before demanding that Lutsenko “reverse course and halt any efforts to impede cooperation with this important investigation.”
- During a September 2019 meeting in Kiev, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy (Connecticut) told Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, that future aid from the United States – which Murphy described as Ukraine’s “most important asset” – could be jeopardized if Zelensky acquiesced to requests by President Trump’s attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, to investigate past corruption allegations involving Joe Biden’s son Hunter. Such cooperation with Trump and Giuliani, said Murphy, would be viewed as election meddling and thus would be “disastrous for long-term U.S.-Ukraine relations.” “I told Zelensky that he should not insert himself or his government into American politics,” Murphy later said to reporter John Solomon. “I cautioned him that complying with the demands of the President’s campaign representatives to investigate a political rival [Biden] of the President would gravely damage the U.S.-Ukraine relationship.”
The Democrats’ War on Free Speech
In April 2018, a group of Democrat senators sought to punish the Sinclair Broadcast Group – widely perceived as a conservative media company – which (a) consisted of 193 television stations and 614 channels in 89 markets nationwide, and (b) had recently announced plans to acquire the Tribune Media Company’s 42 TV stations in 33 markets, a merger that, if completed, would extend Sinclair’s reach to 72% of all American households. The twelve senators included Independent Bernie Sanders and 11 Democrats: Tammy Baldwin, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker, Maria Cantwell, Edward Markey, Jeff Merkley, Patty Murray, Tina Smith, Tom Udall, Elizabeth Warren, and Ron Wyden.
In a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai, these senators expressed concern over the fact that Sinclair had recently aired an ad showing its various local anchors reading from a corporate script extolling the virtue of “balanced journalism”; stating that “truth is neither politically ‘left or right’”; emphasizing the importance of a “commitment” to reporting that “seek[s] the truth and strive[s] to be fair, balanced and factual”; criticizing “some members of the media” for “us[ing] their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think’”; and condemning “the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country.”
Viewing the Sinclair ad as an implicit defense of President Donald Trump, who had long been under withering attack by media outlets nationwide, the senators wrote in their letter: “We are concerned that Sinclair is engaged in a systematic news distortion operation that seeks to undermine freedom of the press and the robust localism and diversity of viewpoint that is the foundation of our national broadcasting laws.” “We have strong concerns,” they added, “that Sinclair has violated the public interest obligation inherent in holding broadcast licenses. Sinclair may have violated the FCC’s longstanding policy against broadcast licensees deliberately distorting news by staging, slanting, or falsifying information.” The senators also demanded that the FCC put on hold its review of Sinclair’s potential merger with Tribune.
In his response, Pai said he “must respectfully decline” the senators’ request “in light of my commitment to protecting the First Amendment and freedom of the press.” “I understand that you disliked or disagreed with the content of particular broadcasts,” he added, “but I can hardly think of an action more chilling of free speech than the federal government investigating a broadcast station because of disagreement with its news coverage or promotion of that coverage.”
Democrats Meet Privately With Iranian Foreign Minister
At the Munich Security Conference in February 2020, several Democrat members of Congress met privately with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif without informing, or obtaining approval from, the State Department. One of those Democrats, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, defended his actions in an online post: “I have no delusions about Iran — they are our adversary, responsible for the killing of thousands of Americans and unacceptable levels of support for terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East. But I think it’s dangerous to not talk to your enemies … A lack of dialogue leaves nations guessing about their enemy’s intentions, and guessing wrong can lead to catastrophic mistakes.” Asserting that “if Trump isn’t going to talk to Iran, then someone should,” Murphy said that he: (a) asked Zarif whether Iran’s reprisals against the U.S. for the recent killing of the Iranian terrorist general Qasem Soleimani were over; (b) told Zarif that it would be “unacceptable” if Iran-affiliated groups in Iraq were to attack American forces; (c) raised the issue of American prisoners held by Iran; and (d) discussed the recent increase in attacks by the Houthis, an Iranian proxy group based in Yemen.
In his online post as well, Murphy said that “Congress is a co-equal branch of government, responsible along with the Executive for setting foreign policy.” But that is not true, as the Clarion Project explains:
“It is for this reason that Murphy and other Democrats were wrong in meeting with Zarif…. [A]ccording to the Constitution, it is the responsibility of the executive branch of government (the president) to set foreign policy. It is the responsibility of the Senate to ratify treaties (which the Obama administration brazenly circumvented when making the Iran deal). In fact, there is a law on the books that addresses such meetings. The Logan Act, promulgated in 1799, prohibits private citizens from conducting official diplomacy and makes it a felony for unauthorized Americans to negotiate with governments in disputes with the U.S.
“The U.S. cut off diplomatic relations with Iran after President Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement in May 2018. Since then, the U.S.’ policy has been to isolate and bankrupt Iran – the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world – through a ‘maximum pressure campaign.’”
“Meetings such as Murphy’s and other Democrat members of Congress with an Iranian regime official defy that policy. Moreover, they send a message of disunity – and hence, weakness — to Iran. During the conference, ‘Murphy and Zarif both criticized U.S. foreign policy during a two-hour discussion on the Middle East,’ The Federalist reported.”
According to The Federalist:
“Murphy’s meeting with Zarif comes while Murphy has defended Democratic rogue meetings with foreign leaders in the past while offering harsh criticism of Republicans who sent an open letter to the Iranian regime while the Obama administration stamped out the details of a nuclear agreement with the Middle Eastern adversary. Murphy, a staunch defender of the agreement, said the Republicans were ‘undermining the authority of the president.’
“In 2017, Murphy also condemned former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn following anonymous leaks of a phone call between Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kysylak surfaced.
“‘Any effort to undermine our nation’s foreign policy – even during a transition period – may be illegal and must be taken seriously,’ Murphy said at the time.”
Other Democrats who attended the Munich Security Conference included Senators Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland. Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State John Kerry was also there.
- Trevor Loudon’s 2019 List of Socialists & Communists in Congress
By Trevor Loudon
February 1, 2019